Costa Conte.

Antonio Conte's brilliant response to Diego Costa's 'criminal' suggestion

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Football News

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte fielded questions about troubled striker Diego Costa during his Friday pre-match press conference.

The Spanish forward remains in Brazil after refusing to train with the reserve team in London.

Fined £300,000 by the club, Costa has given a couple of interviews over the past few days in which he claimed he is being treated like a 'criminal' by Chelsea.

The fiery striker hopes to return to his former club Atletico Madrid but today told ESPN that Chelsea's asking price is too high.

Costa was the club's top scorer as the Blues secured the Premier League title last season but his relationship with Conte has completely broken down.

The Italian coach texted Costa at the end of the 2016/17 season, informing him that he has no future at the club.

Speaking to the press ahead of Sunday's clash with Spurs, Conte was immediately asked about the Brazilian born forward.

A reporter said "He [Costa] feels like he's being treated like a criminal and says he must return to Atletico Madrid. He's calling on Chelsea to lower his asking price."

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League

Conte responded by laughing hysterically for 15 seconds before delivering a response combining humour and honesty.

"It's great, it's great, it's great," said Conte. "I prefer to laugh. It's great, it's great, it's great. I can tell you that everyone who works at Chelsea knows very well what happened last season with him. This interview [Costa gave] is funny."

Asked if Costa could ever return to the Chelsea first team, Conte responded:

"He [Costa] is the past."

Conte clearly doesn't feel much sympathy for the burly Spanish striker.

The enigmatic frontman scored 52 Premier League goals in his three years spent at Stamford Bridge, winning two league titles.

Alvaro Morata, 24, was signed from Real Madrid as Costa's replacement and scored on his Premier League debut after coming on as a substitute in last weekend's 3-2 defeat at home to Burnley.

Chelsea v Burnley - Premier League

Conte has voiced his dissatisfaction at the board on a number of occasions over the past few weeks over the lack of signings.

It's expected that two or three more faces will arrive before the end of the transfer window on August 31.

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